Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

I got nuthin’

Well, not anything related to the theme of “home” at any rate.

Actually, I don’t have much of anything at all.  My poor sewing machine hasn’t been turned on in…days….more than a week?  Way too long.  I’m not sure tomorrow’s outlook is that great for sewing either.  (In case you feel too sorry for me, I *have* used my quilting machine, working on a customer quilt. Unfortunately, I’m at a standstill on it, waiting until I can get some frogging done.  Here’s a lesson I have to keep learning, over and over again:  if you don’t think it looks good, don’t keep doing it.  It’s not going to look any better if you have more of it stitched. It’s just going to take longer to unstitch).

Luckily, there isn’t TOO much unstitching to do.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of cleaning and straightening to do around here.

Dear Goddess, I have a lot of crap supplies.  And I have no idea how I’m going to fit all of it into my new, smaller sewing room.  Purging some of it is definitely required.

Oh, there you go, for the theme of “home” — some of my crap supplies will be finding a new HOME in the near future.  Maybe one of you will want some of my crap treasures.  I’ll post a few things in the next day or 4 that need new homes.




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My Hometown (for real)

Back in April, when I was taking the advanced digital scrapbooking class (which I still haven’t finished, in part due to the fact that I flew off to New Hampshire for a week…), I was also signed up for a class by Shimelle, called There’s No Place Like Home.  The prompts and projects were all…related to home…as you can imagine.   I pretty much just read the daily prompts and thought “Oh cool, that sounds like something fun to do.”

One of the very first prompts was about your hometown.  Even though I live in a nice little town in Eastern Iowa, and am probably stuck here for the duration, I consider Ledyard, Connecticut to be my home town.

What?  You’ve never heard of it?  How about Mystic?  Have you heard of that?  Yeah, Ledyard is not that far from Mystic.  I love the Mystic Seaport, and enjoyed the Mystic Aquarium when I was younger.  But would you believe that I have never seen the movie Mystic Pizza?  How crazy is that?

Ledyard itself wasn’t much more than a bedroom community for the Groton/New London Submarine Base.  We moved to the area when I was in 3rd grade.  At first we lived in Gales Ferry, which is a “village” within Ledyard.  Gales Ferry had it’s own post office, but administratively it was part of Ledyard.  At the end of 6th grade, my parents bought a house and we moved to Ledyard.  I graduated from Ledyard High School in 1990, with about 200ish in my class. (Compare that to the 32 that are currently in Will and Joe’s class.  Weird.  I remember when we had our Kindergarten meeting with Mr. Foster, the principal.  He had all sorts of statistics about how many of those kindergarteners would like graduate together.  The scariest stat was how many would marry each other.  Four of them.  Isn’t that bizarre?  And I don’t think that counted the ones that might marry up or a down a grade).

Ledyard was a nice place to grow up.  Good school, beautiful scenery.  Winding roads through the woods.  (We always joked that the roads were made by drunken farmers following their cows.  Or maybe the cows were drunk.  Or maybe it was horses.  I can’t remember.  Someone was drunk, though, because nothing went in a straight line.  Not like here in Iowa.  Oh, Iowa has it’s curvy roads, but nothing like Connecticut.   Here, everything is pretty well laid out in nice grids and if you start driving in the direction you think you should go, you’ll eventually get where you are going.  Not so much in Connecticut.)

I could ramble on about the things I remember…we lived in Sherwood Forest on Robin Hood Drive in Gales Ferry.  Holdridge’s (the local nursery), Spiro’s (the pizza place), Ledyard Fair, Gales Ferry United Methodist Church, being a Page at the Library (i.e. I shelved books…), but I’m getting sleepy and have to tell you the thing that fascinates me about Ledyard and the surrounding area.

I remember, vaguely, when I was in high school hearing about the Mashantucket Pequots opening a high stakes bingo facility.  (According to the Google, that opened in 1986).  What happened after that, though.  Wowee Zowee.

Foxwoods Casino, my friends.  5 miles from the house in which we lived in Ledyard.  The largest casino in the world.    I have a hard time fathoming the size of that place.  Or its impact on the area.  According to the website, they have something like 11,000 employees.  Good grief! I haven’t been back to Ledyard since…I’m not sure when.  Probably somewhere around 1996.  I guess I don’t know if any of my family ever visited the casino, hopefully I’ll hear from them.

I hope to go back some day, just to look around a bit.  I have heard that MQX (the quilt show I attended in April in New Hampshire) will be moving to Providence, RI in 2010 — that’s super-close to Ledyard, so I’m sure I’ll be visiting the old stomping grounds that year!

So that’s my little musing (for now) on my hometown.  Where did you grow up?  What’s it like now?  If you post on your blog about your hometown, be sure to leave me a comment so I can come visit and read about where you grew up.


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What a mess:

The head of our bed will go up against the wall that’s in the left of the pictures (where the white cabinet is sitting).  I still have those cabinets, and the countertop sitting there.  And all fo the crap piled on (and in and under…) them.  Still have to figure out what to do with all of that.  The TV will go in the corner cabinet.  Mark says our big TV will juuuust fit, like it was meant to be.  Except, the DVD player and such, will have to go in the space above.  Which is full of crap.  Sheesh. The bottom of that cabinet has a stack or two of old cross-stitch books and magazines.  I can’t quite bring myself to get rid of them, but what am I going to do with them?

The walls are going to need patching and painting.  The dark purple is really pretty, but the funky green on the other walls is….funky…

Certainly not a pretty green like the awesome mail I got today:

The pouch is actually a much pretty pink and green, the lighting wasn’t really ideal for good picture taking.  In case you can’t tell, the middle baggie is Pink Flamingo buttons.  Surely everyone needs, those, right?

Deb, am I supposed to share the chocolate?

Time for bed.  Up too late last night.  Plus, it appears that we are about to be pounded by another storm, so I’d better get things turned off and unplugged.

See you tomorrow.


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Home away from home, part 2

Some more about my new home away from home.

Up until a month or so ago, this was a State Farm insurance agent’s office. (He built a new building a block away).

Before that it was a photography studio. This was the photographer that did our wedding, our engagement pictures, plus some pictures the day before the wedding were taken in the back room.

Sometime before that it was a shoe store. My husband remembers going to the basement (the door you see in the picture below) to buy his very first pair of Air Jordans. Someone else I spoke to remembers the basement as the place where you went to buy snowboots.

Sometime before that it was a pharmacy. In some places, you can still see the tile floor from the pharmacy.

This first picture was taken from just to the left off the front door. You can see the longarm room: the machine pretty much just fits with room for a dresser and enough room to walk around the machine without having to squeeze.

I was in there today trying to quilt. I still need to have my pegboard hung up (so I can have my tools right next to me as I’m quilting). As it was, everything I needed was on the other side of the machine and I can only get around it from one end. Back and forth, back and forth I went.

I said something to Mark about how all of the stuff that used to be behind me (in my home studio) was now across the room. All he said was “We are NOT turning the longarm around.”

This picture is taken from right outside the longarm room looking back toward the front door. To the left of the picture is the wall. Through the arched doorway is a long skinny room, about 8 by 30.

I need to get some curtain rods and get some quilts hung up on the walls, especially in the longarm room, to try to absorb some sound. The lighting, especially in this front part of the building is wonderful. The windows face north, so not a lot of sun, but with the white walls and the lights they do have, it is nice and bright.

The only problem? One of the fluorescent lights in the longarm room hums.


I stuck my wireless headphones on tonight and hooked them up to the radio. Had to listen to John Tesh (can’t stand him) but he was better than the hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

The boys had baseball practice tonight. They are the “big kids” on the team this year. Hopefully they get to play a few games, and not have too many rainouts.

Thanks to all of your for your support, I’ve enjoyed hearing from so many of you! I promise to tell you more as things progress. You can probably make some educated guesses as to what will be filling up all of that space I’ve shown you in today’s pictures.



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I did not manage to go take a picture as I had intended, but I decided to just use this one I took awhile ago.  It was taken from a moving vehicle, I was the driver.  Obviously, I couldn’t spend a lot of time getting the camera straight or anything….

We spent the weekend moving my quilting machine, miscellaneous furniture, printers, etc…into my new shop!  It’s right downtown, it’s the 3rd building in from the intersection, so it’s got nice visibility from traffic driving through.

It’s weird, exciting, scary, thrilling, you name it, I’ve thought it.

In some ways I’ll be sad to be moving out of my big studio at home, but I’m looking forward to having a little more separation between business and home.  Plus, we get to use the Master Bedroom as a Master Bedroom.

There’s going to be more to it than just the longarm quilting business, but I’m still a bit reticent about saying too much about what the plans are for the time being.

It’s about 2000 square feet.  The boys have a room in the back for hanging out — it’ll have a couch, table (for drawing, homework, etc…), plus a TV and the GameCube.  Oh, and the foosball table (that is also pool, air hockey and other stuff).

We’re only a few doors away from the library, and the pool is only a couple of blocks away.

I spent 45 minutes on the phone today arranging phone and DSL service.  I think it took that long because the lady was the chattiest I’ve ever spoken to.  She was very nice, I just got a little more family history than I might have preferred.  I’m not complaining, though, as she was extremely helpful, and I happen to know that she is actually an Iowan, and not somewhere overseas.  (I’m sorry if I sound really awful when I say that, but quite frankly, I have really terrible luck with overseas call centers).

I’m still sorting out the sewing room.  Man I have a lot of crap.  I’m going to be maintaining a sewing room at home, but it will be a smaller room (and I won’t have the big walk-in closet for my stash anymore…)

So if you find I’m not hanging out in my online “homes” as much lately and in the future, you now know some of the reason why….

On that note, it’s time for me to head to bed in my small bedroom.  I wonder how many more days (weeks?) it’ll take before we can swap all the furniture at home around….



p.s.  almost forgot.  the track and field day was a partial washout.  they got the morning events in, but shortly after the kids went in for lunch, it started to sprinkle.

and then it started to pour.

they did do some of the tug of war competitions in the gym, but didn’t do all of the running events.

they compete in each event against the other boys in their class, and get to choose 2 events out of several options.

joe got 1st in the softball throw in his class, will got 2nd (he was beat by a kid that threw it 103 feet.  his throw, and joe’s were about 85 feet).

joe got 2nd in the one lap run (once around the football field, about 1/5 of a mile I think?) and will got 2nd in the 50 yard dash.
i’m sure you were dying to know all of those results.   and now, i’m really going to bed.

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I tried to take a picture of something exciting to share, but discovered that my memory card was still in the computer here at home.  So much for that idea.  Tomorrow, though, promise.

Speaking of tomorrow, it’s the last day of school!  We are hoping for no rain, as the kids would sure like to be able to have their Track and Field Day.

Thanks for the ideas about my afghan issue.  For now, it is stuck back in the bin, to be dealt with another day.    I’ve got a pile of stuff on my plate (more about that tomorrow when I can take that blasted picture…).

I got an e-mail that this month’s theme for Nablopomo is “HOME” — I’m pretty sure I’m not going to manage a post every day, but I thought I’d try to have some home-themed posts.

I thought I’d start by telling you that my home is about 45 minutes away from Parkersburg, the city that was hit by an EF-5 tornado last Sunday.    Over 200 homes were destroyed, and I think the number of people that lost their lives is 7.

I can’t even imagine. Can you?  Can you even fathom having your home just ripped to shreds? And your belongings strewn who knows where?  One of my husband’s coworkers lives east of Parkersburg, and his home was destroyed as well.  Mark and some other men that he works with went up on Saturday to help pick up debris from the ditch, yard and fields surrounding this home.  Some of the stories he shared about the things he had seen or heard about were just amazing.  The wife had been at work and had left her wedding ring in her jewelry box.  The box was gone, but they found her ring embedded in a wall.  Their John Deere tractor was found a half mile away.  It still worked.  Their car was in the ditch and the kids’ 4-wheelers were out there somewhere, too.  One worked, the other was mangled.

They still haven’t found his snowmobile.  Or the enclosed trailer it was in.

I think the communities affected have actually been overwhelmed by volunteers and donations.  The REd Cross has said it has the money it needs to cover its costs, but they’d love it if people continued to make donations to the general Disaster Recovery fund.  The donations of goods has been pretty overwhelming, too.

Makes me think of the song at the beginning of the musical, The Music Man:

Oh, there’s nothing halfway
About the Iowa way to treat you,
When we treat you
Which we may not do at all.
There’s an Iowa kind of special
Chip-on-the-shoulder attitude.
We’ve never been without.
That we recall.
We can be cold
As our falling thermometers in December
If you ask about our weather in July.
And we’re so by God stubborn
We can stand touchin’ noses
For a week at a time
And never see eye-to-eye.
But we’ll give you our shirt
And a back to go with it
If your crops should happen to die.

I know I fuss and moan a lot about the weather (which has been absolutely freakin’ gorgeous this weekend, by the way….), but for the most part, I’m pretty proud to call Iowa my home.

Until next winter.  Then I’ll probably be talking about moving south again.

And now, I must get to work cleaning up my Home.  I’d say that some of it looks like a tornado hit it, but I think, in all honesty, that would be disrespectful.  Especially after I’ve seen the pictures of what homes hit by tornadoes actually look like.

I hope you are having a beautiful weekend wherever you call home, I’ll yak at you tomorrow.


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